• Question: In how much danger are we in from super bugs and how can we protect ourselves from them?

    Asked by Elena Starlight to Ashlea, Ben, Lizzie, Francis, Max, Sian on 13 Mar 2018.
    • Photo: Max Jamilly

      Max Jamilly answered on 13 Mar 2018:

      Cool question! Superbugs are bacteria which have evolved to be resistant to most (or all) of the antibiotics that we use to kill them. Over the last decade this has become a really serious problem, especially in hospitals.

      We can stop this problem from becoming too much worse by only using antibiotics when absolutely necessary, and always finishing the course of antibiotics (so that the bacteria don’t have a chance to fight back and become resistant). Nowadays hospitals treat superbugs using combinations of powerful antibiotics, but we are also working on developing new ones. For example, some researchers are studying the blood of Komodo dragons to see if it contains any unknown antibiotics!

    • Photo: Ben Mulhearn

      Ben Mulhearn answered on 14 Mar 2018:

      Superbugs are a worry! I work in hospitals and we now screen everyone for superbugs when they get admitted. Just think if a simple infection came along and we couldn’t treat it with antibiotics!? I agree with Max, one of the things we can do is to not use antibiotics if we don’t need them. ALSO, we don’t really need to use antibacterial sprays and soaps at home, as most baceteria are harmless for our health. Finally, if you’re interested in science why not join the fight and become a researcher in antibiotics!?